Tips & tricks for filming on a mobile phone

Issy Briggs

Mobile video is becoming increasingly more powerful and important, and it is a relatively cheap and easy way to produce content if you know what you are doing. Here are some handy tips and tricks for filming video on a mobile phone/device.

 

Lights!

·  You need to make sure you’ve got good lighting, in front of a window is ideal, but any well-lit space with natural lighting will help make your videos look great

·  Don’t sit with a window or light behind you otherwise you will only look like a silhouette on camera

·  If you have to shoot in a low-light environment invest in a light, such as a ring light which are available at a low cost online

·  Make sure the background is clear so the focus of the video can be on you, not what’s behind you

Camera!

·  Keep it landscape! This will help to keep your video looking as professional as possible, and less like you’ve actually shot it on a phone. It will also help by reducing the amount of cropping or other issues that are often encountered with portrait videos

·  Use your smartphone’s built in features such as focus and exposure adjustments by tapping on your subject to focus the camera

·  Don’t use zoom, unlike a proper camera, a phone camera doesn’t zoom in optically, so it creates a more pixelated result. To avoid this, just move closer to your subject instead of using the zoom!

 

Action!

·  Make sure you have enough storage on your device to hold the video you are looking to take BEFORE you hit record! You wouldn’t want to set up a great shot to have it lost because there wasn’t enough room on your phone for it to be saved

·  Equally, ensure that your phone has enough battery before you start filming. Many devices actually limit the capabilities of their cameras when the battery is low (such as disabling flash), and filming video is a battery-intensive activity so you may notice your battery drop quicker than usual

·  The closer you are to the microphone, the better the audio will sound, so try not to stand too far away

·  If you’re feeling really fancy you could also use a second smartphone that is closer to record the audio using the voice memo app, which can be added over the video taken on the other smartphone

·  Ask for help! Get a friend or colleague to help you out, it is much easier to know if things such as lighting are OK if someone is behind the camera to see them

·  If you don’t have a friend to help you out, consider investing in a tripod to make sure that your video doesn’t have a case of the shakes

·  If you don’t have a tripod or a friend, try and hold your phone with both hands to increase stability, you can also reduce shakiness by propping your phone against a wall or on top of a table

·  Don’t be afraid to do a retake or even retakes if something goes wrong! It happens to everyone, and the magic of video editing means that cuts can be made to ensure that even if you do make a mistake, nobody will ever know (apart from you and your editor)

 

 


Issy Briggs
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